Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario

February 20, 2008 15:53 ET

Ontario Ombudsman and Union Reach Agreement

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2008) - Unionized employees of the Ontario Ombudsman have ratified a new collective agreement, in effect until March 31, 2011. Some 60 employees are members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees union Local 343, which ratified the contract yesterday in a majority vote after being without a contract since March 31, 2007.

The new agreement includes an immediate pay raise of 3.5% retroactive to April 1, 2007, another 3.5% effective April 1, 2008, plus 3.5% in each of the next two years. It also enhances health and drug benefits.

Effective immediately, the Ombudsman staff work week will increase from 35 hours to 36.25 hours, the same as the Ontario Public Service standard. The agreement also phases out five days off that were previously given in lieu of overtime, replacing them with overtime compensation at time-and-a-half for extra hours worked, to be given in cash and/or time by mutual consent.

"Our investigators, intake officers, administrative and other staff work hard to help the people of Ontario," said Ombudsman Andre Marin. "I'm pleased to have an agreement that ensures they are fairly and properly recognized for that work."

The Ombudsman is an Officer of the Legislature, independent of the provincial government and political parties. His Office investigates public complaints about provincial government services, ministries, agencies, boards and commissions. Staff handle more than 20,000 individual complaints per year and have conducted numerous large-scale systemic investigations that have sparked reforms ranging from improved screening of newborn babies to an overhaul of the provincial lottery system.

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